After a year of “wintering” in my Soulflower world (as inspired by Iris back in April 2022) I felt more than ready to not only welcome all the Spring flowers, open the windows and feel the grass beneath my feet but also to jump back into some new Soulflower projects. I was ready to feel my creative energy flowing and inspiration return—to “get back into the game” as they say!
Well I’m not sure who “they” are but with Hawthorn (COURAGE) as my guide this lunar cycle there was no jumping into anything quickly—have you seen her thorns?
Working with Hawthorn requires the greatest of presence and mindful care. She isn’t always the gentlest of teachers but her wisdom, like your heart, will never lead you astray.
And so there is a pattern I’ve been observing where rest is taken reluctantly, or circumstances force it, rather than it being invited and welcomed as a regular guest in our lives.
“Needing a break” tends to be more of a temporary fix, or coping skill, instead of a practice that transforms the overall speed and intensity of our lives.
“Perhaps it’s not that there aren’t enough hours in the day” says Hawthorn, “but that you are simply trying to do too much.”
Why IS that?
I flash back to where my Soulflower journey began over a decade ago with my body constantly in pain, telling me quite clearly that things had to change. And now I found myself faced with the reality that, after courageously letting go of the momentum and trajectory of my Soulflower work for a whole year, I wanted to just pick up where I left off!
What had changed exactly?
Was it that I had not fully integrated and embodied the wisdom gained?
All the seeds I’ve been starting this season have germinated beautifully but then failed to thrive, for whatever reason stunted and lacking vitality. Every day I was checking on them, trying to figure out what I was DOING wrong.
Grow seed babies… grow!
Then, after feeling strong and ready to “tackle” garden clean up I took two massive, full body falls in one day.
Laying on the ground, battered and sobbing in pain, I remembered that I didn’t want to “tackle” anything…
I remembered the wisdom the plants had awakened within me—that everything I experience in my life is to support me and my personal growth in some way. I wasn’t being punished, or chastised that I hadn’t fully integrated and embodied the lessons of the past, it was just that I was moving too fast, not fully present.
I was simply being grounded… reminded… to slow down.
“It’s time to move at the speed of Nature,” whispered Hawthorn.
Yes! Yes! I remember!
Finding the words to articulate what is felt, sensed and experienced internally, learning to understand and articulate the language of the heart—LEARNING TO BE— this is a completely new language for us all.
The heart speaks in whispers. The mind shouts.
As we create a new story for our lives we are having to relearn all the ways we move and engage with the world. And it takes so much courage to “be alive in the shatter”, to keep getting up after being knocked down over and over as the world and life as we have known it seemingly falls apart around us.
It’s like being a toddler! Shaky and unsteady on our feet.
We are learning to walk again…I am learning to walk again.
I’m not in a vicious cycle recapitulating the past over and over…I am simply beginning a new spiral… the circumstances and experiences feel familiar but I am different now and choosing a new path. And sometimes it seems, old patterns we thought resolved do show up again for a final review before hopefully moving on. Is this happening for you?
Sustainable growth is slow, reciprocal, cyclical, spiraling.
“Nature never hurries, yet everything is accomplished.” ― Lau Tzu
I can no longer force or push myself to “get with the program” and yet where I am going is still unclear… like a dream, where you can’t remember the details but the feelings reverberate in your body.
I remember a decade ago that I never wanted to even leave my garden.
And, I also remember how isolated and lonely I felt… hiding.
It took all kinds of courage to lean in and face my fears about showing up and sharing publicly my journey back to wholeness mentored by the plant spirits.
It has been a journey of constant self-reflection, brutal honesty and rigorous “letting go” to expose my true self out from under all the accumulated layers of who I was not. To remember why I was in the garden in the first place.
I know who I am. I know my deepest desires to create peace and beauty and belonging—within and with others and with the Earth that supports us all.
I have been exploring the Wise Old Woman archetype, the crone, as I transition into my post-menopausal years. My heart is quietly whispering to me to explore this new role… try it on if you like.
Sharon Blackie in Hagitude: Reimagining the Second Half of Life says, “I wanted to become that Wise Old Woman of the woods who doesn’t ever think of advertising her wares, but who is there to be found by those who need her.”
And did my heart ever resonate with those words!
To me, the Wise Woman is done with the incessant external seeking and striving, she ditches internal shame and judgment and simply plants herself in her beloved landscape, sure of who she is—slightly intimidating maybe in her courageous truth telling—but kind, and generous with her time.
Is that where my heart is taking me?
Common business wisdom encourages continual growth and expansion and yet this month marks the end of me having a wholesale sales representative—he was too good at getting me orders that I couldn't (and didn’t want) to keep up with. I don’t want a six figure business and employees and all that comes with that trajectory.
I need lots of time in my garden, time to create art, to write, to engage in deep and meaningful conversations and yet I also want to have an impact on the world—to try and make a positive contribution in some way with my heartswork.
Hawthorn reminds me that my greatest impact is found in my being true to myself, and to my heart’s wisdom. That this is perhaps the most courageous path especially in a world filled with experts governing the “right” way to do things… to do life… or else.
By gently tending and nurturing myself I know I can be a better conduit for unconditional love, compassion and understanding for my family, my friends and all those hearts and souls I get to share life with—no matter how seemingly small and insignificant the relationship.
If you make space for rest and for listening deeply, your heart will absolutely let you know what it desires to live a fully embodied and joyful life. Of this I am sure! And, I am also sure that if you don’t make space, your body, or the Universe will surely step in to let you know when you have strayed from the path of your highest growth and becoming.
If you are reading this Deep Dive, Hawthorn is there for you too, encouraging you to tap into your strong heart and find the courage to look at aspects of your story that are coming around for you to say a final goodbye before you set off on a new path… wherever it leads.
This is a journey of TRUST after all. And I am humbled and grateful to be sharing the journey with you.
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